Urban Decay

The other day I decided to go for a walk through town. I can’t remember where my final destination was… Possibly the cinema to see the new Jason Statham film, which was so egregiously poor that my mind appears to have erased that experience for the sake of my sanity. This post isn’t about that particular cinematographic travesty though, it’s about a mural I spotted on the way.

The old cattle market in town shut down half a century ago, so It’s been a long time since it’s been used for the transfer of money in exchange for prize bovines (although after the cattle market shut down, it was allegedly the best location to get a prostitute, so I guess the term was still apt). It’s now a housing development, which has fairly recently reached completion. Now, the building site had some boards up around it which a few years back were daubed with a mural designed to look appealing and send a positive message to kids. That mural has gradually eroded over the years. It now looks like this:


Now, the boards were originally red underneath. I’m guessing the cow motif was used to link the site back to its cattle-market heritage. The happy cows are spreading a positive message – “Be Active”, “No Crime”, “No Bullying”. The problem is that the mural paint is peeling to reveal the red background. From a distance, however, it looks as if the plucky fresians are stood in a huge river of blood, their udders exploding with red gore. It’s incredibly hilarious and downright disturbing, but let me draw your attention to a few of my favourite parts:

First of all we have the “no Crime” cow. I’ll call her Cynthia. Cynthia HATES crime. I mean you can tell by the look on her face, she finds even the most petty theft absolutely abhorrent. She’s so mad SHE MADE A SIGN. However, it looks as if she is being peppered with machine gun fire. Her udders are a mess, her right arm is missing, and she’s clearly in a great deal of pain. Now the irony here is that the splat of red on Cynthia’s sign is actually part of the original mural. Who knows what dark thoughts the creator had in mind when he or she painted it?


Next up is this gem. The sign reads “Bean Field”. In and of itself this would not be funny, but for those overseas readers (and some of our British friends who are not up to date with their history), back in 1985, there was a huge clash between The Police and New Age Travellers who were attempting to organise a free festival for the summer solstice at Stonehenge. It became known as “The Battle of the Beanfield” and remains one of the most horrendous examples of police brutality in recent British history. The sea of blood in which the cows stand certainly looks like a battlefield to my eyes, although I doubt that this was an intentional piece of political commentary.


And finally we have the “No Bullying” cow. I think I’ll call her Freida. Freida hates bullying as much as Cynthia hates crime, but Freida takes no shit. Seriously, if you piss her off, you will not stop her enacting righteous and deadly vengeance upon you and your entire family. Look at that vicious maw! She is one carnivorous bitch. She doesn’t even give a fuck that her legs are missing and she has no right hand. Frieda is like the cow version of Pin-Head. If you bully someone, SHE WILL TEAR YOUR SOUL APART.


Seeing this mural was FAR more entertaining than that piece of shit Statham movie, so I’d highly recommend coming to see the Bovine Battle of the Beanfield mural, here in Rugby, time-hole of the UK. Perhaps you’ve noticed something amusing in the mural that I’ve missed? Perhaps you have some hilarious insight to add, or you want to professionally critique the piece? Perhaps your home town has a peeling mural with an unintentionally sinister appearance which you want to share? That’s fine, post a comment or send me an email!



  1. taehreh

    The “Be Active” cow on the left, let’s call her Petunia, looks as though she is using her udders as some sort of machine gun to take down the passing bee. Poor bee is desperately trying to fly away, but is quickly bleeding to death.

    This is the most horrific mural I’ve ever seen.

  2. Pingback: Shopping malls are not fun EXCEPT FOR THIS ONE | Permanent Days Unmoving

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